Dems Push FBI to Probe Undocumented Staff at Trump Golf Course

President Donald Trump's golf clubs accused of hiring scores of undocumented migrants.

A group of Democrat lawmakers, Wednesday, asked Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray to investigate the Trump Organization, which is helmed by U.S. President Donald Trump, for allegedly hiring a score of undocumented Latin American workers on golf courses.

RELATED: 279K US Born Immigrants in Danger Due to Trump’s Policies

"We write to you to request a thorough federal investigation into the disturbing allegations from former Trump Organization employees that demonstrate possible violations of both civil and criminal law by the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York and Bedminster, New Jersey," the lawmakers noted in a letter.

The request was driven by the Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva and signed by New York reps. Yvette Clarke and Nydia Velazquez, Massachusetts Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Indiana Rep. Andre Carson, Florida Rep. Darren Soto, California Rep. Jimmy Gomez and New Jersey reps. Bonnie Watson and Tom Malinowski.

A number of former employees of the golf courses in Westchester (New York) and Bedminster (New Jersey) reported having worked without papers for President Trump's companies.

Trump's Firm Employed Illegal Immigrants At Golf Clubs . At least 18 undocumented workers have been fired from Donald Trump's five golf courses in New York and New Jersey in the past two months.

According to The Washington Post, the management of the Bedminster Club hired employees from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico and Guatemala.

Reports are that, the Bedminster Club employees, who lived in the working-class neighborhood of Bound Brook, in New Jersey,  were piled into vans before dawn and transported to the golf course daily.

Many of the illegal workers who were employed to the Trump companies were allegedly dismissed en masse when the pressure to build the US-Mexico border wall intensified.

"The Trump Organization fired these hardworking employees — many of whom had worked there for over 10 years — as President Trump shut down the government over a border wall that would supposedly keep undocumented immigrants out. However, he did not hesitate to break the law to employ them and exploit them for his own financial gain," the congressmen letter states.

The Trump Organization has declared that the undocumented workers no longer work for the companies and that at their time of employment the company was unaware of any undocumented status, adding that the workers falsified documents.

However, some workers countered that several superiors had knowledge of their immigration status.

 
 
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Russia follows US in suspending nuclear deal

Russia has suspended the cold war-era intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty after a similar move by the US.

Vladimir Putin announced the decision on Saturday and also instructed the government not to initiate disarmament talks with Washington.

Moscow’s relations with the west are strained over a number of issues, including Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine as well as charges of meddling with the presidential election in the US and allegedly being behind a nerve agent attack in Britain.

“The American partners have declared that they suspend their participation in the deal; we suspend it as well,” the Russian president said during a televised meeting with foreign and defence ministers.

The US announced on Friday it would withdraw from the INF treaty with Russia in six months unless Moscow ended what it said were violations of the landmark 1987 arms control pact.

Putin said Russia would start work on creating new missiles, including hypersonic ones, and told ministers not to initiate disarmament talks with Washington, accusing the US of being slow to respond to such moves.

“We have repeatedly, during a number of years, and constantly raised a question about substantiative talks on the disarmament issue, notably, on all the aspects,” Putin said. “We see that in the past few years the partners have not supported our initiatives.”

During the meeting, the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, also accused the US of violating the INF and other arms deals, such as the non-proliferation treaty.

Putin said Russia would not increase its military budget for the new weapons and it would not deploy its weapons in Europe and other regions unless the US did so.

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Putin says Russia will retaliate if U.S. quits nuclear missile treaty: agencies

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday the Kremlin would retaliate if the United States withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, Russian news agencies reported.

Putin discussed possible Russian retaliation with top Russian Defence Ministry officials and added that the Kremlin was ready to discuss the INF treaty with Washington.

The Cold War-era treaty, which rid Europe of land-based nuclear missiles, has come into question against a backdrop of renewed tensions between the West and Russia, most notably over Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and role in eastern Ukraine.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has accused Russia of non-compliance with the 31-year-old missile accord and warned it will pull out of the deal as a result. The Kremlin denies violating the pact.

NATO and Russian envoy addressed the dispute during rare talks on Oct. 31, with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urging Moscow to make quick changes to comply in full with the treaty. He said Russia’s development of the land-based, intermediate-range SSC-8 cruise missile posed “a serious risk to strategic stability”.

European leaders worry any collapse of the INF treaty could lead to a new, destabilizing arms race.

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Venezuelan President Maduro Arrives in New York for UN General Assembly

The Venezuelan leader is expected to deliver his General Assembly speech later on Wednesday. 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said via Twitter Wednesday afternoon he was landing in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

"I come to the General Assembly of the United Nations to defend the truth about Venezuela, to bring the voice of our country," the president said on Twitter, in a video from the plane.

Nicolás Maduro @NicolasMaduro Aterrizando en Nueva York para participar en la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas. Traigo la voz de todo mi pueblo, vengo cargado de Pasión Patria para defender la verdad.

He asserted that he arrived in New York "full of passion and truths so that the entire world knows that Venezuela is standing up ... I also come to receive the solidarity of governments and peoples."

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Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Kiev hit the streets to demand: Hey Trump! Lift the Blockade on Cuba Now!

For over 56 years, the Cuban people have been enduring an unjust U.S. blockade, which has negatively impacted their daily lives. One example of the cruel effects of the blockade is the damages caused to the Cuban healthcare system. In this sector alone, the monetary damage is estimated at more than $87 million just in one year.

Despite all these challenges and obstacles by the Unitec States, Cuba is world renowned for its universal health care system, which has achieved a lower infant mortality rate than many first world countries, including the United States and Canada!

On December 17, 2014, former U.S. President Barack Obama and former Cuban President Raul Castro made the historic announcement that they would be moving towards normalizing relations. Although positive first steps were made towards lifting the U.S. blockade on Cuba, this progress was stalled under the Obama administration. Now the Trump administration has made efforts to turn back completely the progress made.

Here in Vancouver, after the 2014 announcement Cuba solidarity activists mobilized to protest the U.S. blockade, knowing that a big push of public opinion was needed to keep this momentum going in the right direction. Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade – Vancouver (FCAB-Van) was formed and started organizing monthly picket actions in front of the U.S. Consulate in downtown Vancouver. Vancouver is now joined by Ottawa and Montreal, Canada and Kiev, Ukraine in united and coordinated monthly actions against this criminal and unjust blockade and demanding that the U.S. return the U.S. occupied territory of Guantanamo to Cuba!

In Vancouver on August 17, 2018, Cuba solidarity activists and their supporters marched in front of the U.S. consulate holding picket signs high and chanting “Hey Trump, Lift the Blockade!” and “Return Guantanamo to Cuba Now!”. Between rounds of picketing, the protesters gathered together to hear from local speakers, as well as to hear a phone message of solidarity from Ottawa Cuba Connections, who also protested that day in front of the U.S. Embassy.

To wrap up the action, protesters gathered together for a photo in front of the U.S. Consulate doors, proudly holding a banner reading “End the Blockade of Cuba!” This photo was shared on Twitter and Facebook around the world to spread the word that supports for Cuba and protest against the blockade is alive and well here in Vancouver!

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US: Trump Administration Misses Deadline To Reunite 3,000 Kids

Some 1,600 kids have not been reunited with their parents after being separated at the US-Mexico border. Advocates say some kids lost in bureaucratic 'black hole'.

The Donald Trump administration has missed the deadline to reunite some 3,000 minors with their parents after they had been separated at the U.S.-Mexican border under the administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy.

RELATED: US Judge To Donald Trump: 'Reunite Migrant Families Or Pay'

Only about 1,400 of 3,000 children that U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the government to reunite by Thursday, July 26 have been given over to their parents.

Government lawyers said that 711 of the kids were “not eligible” for reunification. Of that number 431 of the minors couldn’t be reunified because the parents were no longer in the United States - the majority were deported or self-deported, being told by U.S. immigration authorities they would be reunited with their children faster if they left the country.

After Thursday’s court filing with Judge Sabraw, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) official Chris Meekins told reporters the agency was awaiting guidance from the court about how to proceed with the children of 431 parents no longer in the United States. They are currently under the custody of the DHHS Office of Refugee Resettlement.  

Douglas Almendarez who was separated from his 11-year-old son at the border returned to Honduras after being told his child was already back in the country.

"They told me: 'He's ahead of you'," Almendarez, 37, told Reuters from his home outside the capital city of Tegucigalpa. "It was a lie."

Between mid-May and late June, the Department of Justice implemented a ‘zero tolerance’ policy at the U.S.-Mexico border as an attempt to deter the influx of Central American migrants and asylum seekers trying to enter the country. Over 2,500 people were arrested, most with kids in tow. Sabraw demanded that all kids forcibly separated from their parents - some 3,000 - be reunited in his June ruling.

After public outcry Trump vowed to end the separations, a move he was doubly forced to comply with under Sabraw’s June ruling.

Lee Gelernt, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which brought the case against the government, accused the government of "picking and choosing who is eligible for reunification" and said it would "hold the government accountable and get these families back together.”

The government has not yet provided the ACLU with information about future reunifications, including the location and timing of them.

"This information is critical both to ensure that these reunifications have in fact taken place and to enable class counsel to arrange for legal and other services for the reunited families,” says an ACLU statement.

Immigration advocates say some kids were lost into a "black hole" as the government had no set system in place to reunite families.

Maria Odom, vice president of legal services for Kids in Need of Defense, said two children were sent from New York to Texas to be reunited with their mother. When they arrived, they learned she had been deported, Odom told reporters.

Odom said her group does not know where the children, aged 9 and 14, have been taken.

It was an example, she said, "of how impossible it is to track these children once they are placed in the black hole of reunification."

The ACLU and government lawyers will return to court on Friday to discuss how to proceed.

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Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to US Supreme Court, Democrats outraged

President Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court. Democrats are alarmed that he will overturn rulings about abortion and same-sex marriage.
If approved, Kavanaugh would fill the seat vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement last month.

To be successfully confirmed, Kavanaugh needs 51 votes in the Senate. Republicans currently hold a 51-49 majority, but Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) is battling brain cancer and is unlikely to be present for a vote. Vice President Mike Pence can break a tie, but even a single Republican breaking with the party would hold up the nomination, assuming the Democrats are unanimous in opposition.

Kavanaugh was on the shortlist of nominees along with Thomas Hardiman, Raymond Kethledge and Amy Coney Barrett.

The 53-year-old, who was the White House Staff Secretary under George W Bush, has served as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the past 12 years.

US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on board Air Force One © Eric Thayer‘Generally conservative’ candidates on Trump’s Supreme Court shortlist, nomination coming soon
Favored by many Republicans for his work with Solicitor General Ken Starr to impeach President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, the Yale graduate also appears to have many critics. Some Republicans, as well as the Democrats, view Kavanaugh's previous rulings on abortion and health care cases as way too conservative, claiming that they violate the rights of many people in American society.

“His nomination should be a non-starter for every member of the Senate concerned about the integrity of the special counsel's investigation and worried about the Court undermining the rights of women to make their own medical decisions; civil rights; the rights of Americans to quality, affordable healthcare; voting rights; the rights of workers to organize for better wages and working conditions; and more,” Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) said in a statement on Monday.

Other controversial topics include net neutrality and the judge’s belief that criminal investigations should not involve active presidents, a clear problem for some lawmakers amid Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe into Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia.

“President Trump is currently a subject of an ongoing criminal investigation, and any nomination of a Supreme Court justice while that investigation continues is unacceptable because of the clear conflict of interest inherent in the President installing someone who could be the deciding vote on a number of potential issues from that investigation that could come before the Court,” Booker added.

“Democrats in the Senate should use every tool at their disposal to stop Judge Kavanaugh from being confirmed. This is a fight worth having,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island) tweeted, expressing what appears to be a widely shared view among lawmakers.

Meanwhile, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) claimed that Kavanaugh stands “outside the mainstream” when it comes to dealing with healthcare, executive power, privacy and even gun safety. “We need a nominee who understands that the court must protect the rights of all Americans, not just political interest groups and the powerful,” she tweeted.

At the same time, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Florida) called Trump’s nomination a “shameful effort” to roll back the progress that has been made in the US when it comes to civil liberties.

While Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing will take place in the fall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell already warned Trump that his nominee might have a difficult confirmation battle over the other shortlisted candidates.

Yet, following Trump's nomination, McConnell called on his colleagues “to put partisanship aside and consider his legal qualifications with the fairness, respect, and seriousness that a Supreme Court nomination ought to command.”

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Hillary Clinton attacks Trump for 'all-out war on truth, facts and reason'

Hillary Clinton has excoriated Donald Trump, telling an audience in New York press rights and free speech are “under open assault” under an administration she compared to an authoritarian regime that threatened “the end of freedom”.

“We are living through an all-out war on truth, facts and reason,” Clinton said at the PEN America World Voices Festival in Manhattan on Sunday.

“When leaders deny things we can see with our own eyes, like the size of a crowd at the inauguration, when they refuse to accept settled science when it comes to urgent challenges like climate change … it is the beginning of the end of freedom, and that is not hyperbole. It’s what authoritarian regimes through history have done.”

The former presidential candidate, secretary of state, senator and first lady was delivering the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write lecture. She began by discussing threats to press freedom and free speech including in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. But she soon turned her remarks to the US under Trump, saying such freedoms were “in the most perilous position I’ve seen in my lifetime”.

“Today we have a president who seems to reject the role of a free press in our democracy,” she said. “Although obsessed with his own press coverage, he evaluates it based not on whether it provides knowledge or understanding, but solely on whether the daily coverage helps him and hurts his opponents.

“Now, given his track record, is it any surprise that according to the latest round of revelations, he joked about throwing reporters in jail to make them talk?”

The reference to revelations from memos by former FBI director James Comey was Clinton’s only reference to Comey, who was fired by Trump.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Clinton’s remarks were followed by a conversation with novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Under friendly questioning, Clinton was asked if she had “hit back” enough during the campaign – a reference to a childhood episode in which, Clinton has written, her mother gave her permission to hit back at a bully.

“I now think that I didn’t,” Clinton said. She described the much-discussed moment when Trump was “stalking me on that debate stage”. She recalled thinking: “What do I do? Do I turn around and say: ‘Back up, you creep?”’ But then, she said, “the coverage would have been, ‘She can’t take the pressure, she got angry.”’

And so, she said she told herself: “You just have to be calm and in control. Because ultimately what the country wants is someone who is not blowing up in the Oval Office.”

“Well, you know that did not work out so well,” she said, to laughter.

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